Monday, September 15, 2014

State Trooper Eric Roberts Arrested for Sexual Assault

Eric Roberts was arrested Monday in Creek County. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper was jailed in connection with sexual assault and kidnapping complaints.

The leader of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said his agency is sickened after the arrest Monday of a trooper on sexual assault complaints.

Trooper Eric Roberts, 42, was arrested Monday morning on complaints of sexual assault and kidnapping. Roberts was booked at the Creek County jail, officials said.

Roberts was released from jail Monday afternoon on a $66,000 bond. Formal charges had not been filed against the trooper as of Monday afternoon.

An investigation was being presented to the Creek County district attorney’s office for review, Col. Ricky Adams, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s chief, said during a news conference Monday afternoon in Oklahoma City.

“This particular matter sickens us as an agency,” Adams said.

The incident marks the second high-profile case during recent months in which a law enforcement officer was arrested on sexual assault complaints.

Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw was arrested last month and accused of groping and raping several women while he was on duty in northeast Oklahoma City.

In Roberts’ case, the patrol started an internal investigation after a woman called the agency on July 23 and reported that she had been sexually assaulted during a traffic stop, Adams said.

Roberts was suspended with pay July 24.

The patrol is moving forward with termination proceedings, Adams said Monday.

Patrol investigators have identified three potential victims, Adams said.

Two of the women are considered victims of rape, and the third woman is considered a victim of inappropriate physical contact during a traffic stop, patrol Capt. George Brown said in an email.

The incidents in question occurred during the daytime in the Sapulpa area, Adams said, adding that during all of the stops, Roberts turned off his camera and his microphone.

In a civil lawsuit filed last month, one woman accused Roberts of raping her during a traffic stop in July.

The lawsuit alleges that Roberts made the woman get into his patrol car and asked her inappropriate questions before driving to a secluded area and assaulting her.

The lawsuit was later amended to include a second woman who came forward with similar allegations.

The woman contended that Roberts made inappropriate comments to her during a traffic stop in July and drove her to a secluded location where he sexually assaulted her, according to an amended complaint.

Attorneys’ responses

Roberts’ attorney, Gary James, said the criminal allegations that were made against his client are untrue.

“He is innocent of these allegations,” James said.

Kevin Adams, an attorney for the women in the civil case, said Monday “it’s about time” Roberts was arrested.

“They allowed a guy that they have alleged is a serial sex offender to be out on the street for two months,” Kevin Adams said.

“To me, that’s a little troubling. I think if he would not have been law enforcement, that they would have arrested him a long time ago.”

James suggested Roberts did not receive special treatment.

“I think he was actually probably treated harsher because he was law enforcement,” James said.

Another case

Roberts is the second trooper in a little more than a year to face sexual assault allegations.

Last year, former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Patrick Venable pleaded guilty to a felony count of aggravated assault and battery after he was accused of having sex with a woman he stopped while on duty.

No comments: